My Star Mega Do 3 Adventure Begins

September 5, 2011

This should be an interesting week for me. I’m going on the third annual Star Mega Do, which is an event planned by frequent flyers, for frequent flyers. The event is co-organized by certain Star Alliance member airlines, as well as Hyatt. There are two portions (full schedule here), and I booked business class tickets […]

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Discounted Thanksgiving Business Class Fares to Europe

August 29, 2011

For the past couple years, I’ve noticed that airlines deeply discount business class travel to Europe. While I’ve always had plans that kept me  in the US for the holiday, I’ve always been tempted to book a weekend trip to Europe over Thanksgiving, if anything to boost my elite status. I checked and I’m once […]

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Continental Encourages American Express Point Transfers

August 25, 2011

Continental leaves the American Express Membership Rewards program September 30, 2011 and they have been aggressively emailing their frequent flyers asking them to transfer their points to Continental before it’s too late. I recently got an email: “THE COUNTDOWN IS ON. DON’T MISS OUT. TURN MEMBERSHIP REWARDS® POINTS INTO MILES NOW. Continental’s partnership with American […]

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200 Free Continental Miles

August 4, 2011

Technically for Chase Continental Debit/Credit card holders, but can’t hurt to try anyway! 100 free miles link 1 100 free miles link 2 Hat tip TPG reader Brian!

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No Excise Fee on American Express US Airline Transfers

July 30, 2011

As I’ve written about before, an interesting result of the ongoing budget drama and quasi-FAA shutdown is the inability for airlines to collect certain taxes on tickets. Fares were briefly lower last week, until the opportunistic airlines decided (almost in unison, hmm) to raise fares the amount of the taxes they would have collected. While […]

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Maximizing Stopovers, Transfers and Open Jaw Ticketing on United/Continental Awards

July 27, 2011

This post is focused on maximizing Continental and United awards. The Continental Onepass program will cease to exist after 12/31/11, but until then you can transfer United and Continental miles back and forth (see this post for more information). For other posts in the “Maximizing Awards” series, check out American, Delta, US Airways, Air Canada […]

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Chase Launches New United Explorer and Continental Onepass Plus Card Offers

July 19, 2011

Update: The current offer for the United Explorer card is 30,000 miles with $1,000 spend within 3 months or 50,000 miles with $2,000 spend in 3 months when you sign up in a Chase branch. Chase announced identical offers for new United and Continental credit cards today. These are decent offers, but nothing that has me really excited. If you […]

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My Ranking and Strategy With the Current Chase Credit Cards

July 19, 2011

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: United Explorer, Sapphire Preferred, Southwest Premier Chase announced a new United card, “The Explorer,” and the deal is a bit of a dud – with a 25,000 point sign-up bonus, 10,000 for spending $25,000 a year and 5,000 points for adding an […]

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Airline Status Match and Challenge Information

July 14, 2011

A frequent flyer can mean a lot of revenue for an airline. Not only do frequent flyers often have the co-branded credit card, but they are often influential in bringing more business to the airline. What many frequent flyers don’t know, is that you can leverage your current elite status to get comped elite status […]

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Reminder: Continental Now Allows One Way Awards

July 5, 2011

Just a friendly reminder that as of June 15, 2011 – you can now book one way awards at If you have United miles, I recommend transferring them to Continental and booking awards there, since their search engine is much smarter than and shows a good amount of Star Alliance partners. Continental also updated […]

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Reader Email Sunday: American Express Membership Reward Dilemma

June 26, 2011

This morning I am introducing a new feature to my blog; Reader Email Sunday. Basically, about every week or so I will select a couple questions from my inbox and answer them online so that everyone can view my response and offer their own comments. As always, feel free to contact me here if you have your […]

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Major United/Continental Fare Sale To/From Chicago from Many Western Cities (Incl San Francisco for $141 roundtrip)

June 22, 2011

Continental/United just loaded a ton of dirt cheap fares to/from Chicago and San Francisco, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, San Jose, Portland, Seattle, San Diego, Phoenix, Ontario and Salt Lake City. For example, Chicago to San Francisco from August through November has a base roundtrip fare of $120 and comes to a whopping $141 total roundtrip. While […]

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Cheap Flights to Madrid and Barcelona- from $356 Total Roundtrip

June 15, 2011

Spanair is a Madrid based Star Alliance carrier that does not fly to the US. However, they do file codeshares with their US based Star Alliance partners and from time to time their codeshared flights can be very cheap. It seems like they’ve loaded some extra cheap fares that may be of interest to many […]

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Cheap Continental June-November Flights from Newark to Las Vegas – $289 Total Roundtrip

June 14, 2011

I know Vegas is really hot in the summer, but if you are looking for a relatively cheap summer vacation and Europe (with the rising Euro) isn’t doable – you might want to consider a desert retreat to Las Vegas. Hotels can be had for dirt cheap and the party continues all year round – […]

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Consolidated List of Airline Award Charts and Partner Airline Lists

June 14, 2011

I thought it would be convenient to have a page that TPG readers can bookmark with links to the award charts for the major frequent flyer programs. This is by no means a final list, as I’ll continuously be updating the page (feel free to comment below with the links to any other program or […]

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How to Use the ANA Award Tool to Search Star Alliance Award Availability

June 9, 2011

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is one of Japan’s premier airlines and a Star Alliance member. While many of you will never set foot on an ANA plane, you should be a member of their frequent flyer program, Mileage Club, because it allows you access to near perfect Star Alliance award availability. This means you can search […]

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100 Free Continental OnePass Miles

May 26, 2011

Simply register your OnePass number here by June 30, 2011 for 100 free miles. These are targeted towards Continental Debit and Credit cardholders, but it can’t hurt to try. Not a huge payday, but every mile counts!

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I Have a Confession …

May 25, 2011

I may be the only one out there, but I don’t absolutely hate the new United logo. While I’m not blown away, I have no negative feelings towards it. In fact, I’m somewhat impressed by United’s new NYC advertising campaign, even though they did make a small faux pas regarding their ad placement around Ground […]

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Widespread Continental/United Fare Sale to Hawaii- As Low as $345 Total Roundtrip

May 24, 2011

As I’ve written about a couple times, there have been a lot of sub-$500 fares to Hawaii recently. I’ve seen Delta “attacking” a lot of Continental/United hubs and vice versa. Today it seems that Continental/ United has loaded a huge availability of rock bottom fares to multiple Hawaiian islands – I’m seeing total roundtrip (including taxes) […]

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Delta Enlists American Express to Poach Continental and United Elites

May 19, 2011

Several TPG readers emailed me an interesting mailing they received as American Express Platinum Cardmembers. The mailing from American Express (picture below) is a clear attempt to lure Continental and United elites to Delta. While elite status matches are nothing new, this is the first time I’ve seen a credit card company acting as an […]

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How to Transfer Continental Miles to United and Vice Versa

May 17, 2011

In March, Continental and United announced that members of each program would be able to link their frequent flyer programs together and transfer miles in between. They are doing this to get members comfortable with both programs because they will officially combine accounts at the end of 2011. I lauded this as a huge enhancement […]

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Amazing Deal: Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 Point Bonus and First Year Fee Waived

May 16, 2011

Update:  As of July 20, 2014, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card no longer offers the 7% annual points dividend. View the current sign up offer here. Capitalizing on lucrative credit card offers is the foundation to any robust points strategy. In the past two months I’ve banked over 350,000 points from leveraging my credit- 100,000 […]

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Sub $500 Fares on Continental/United from Chicago/NY/LA to Hawaii- Lanai, Molokai and Kapalua

May 10, 2011

I’ve been toying with a trip to Lanai, so I’ve been accustomed to seeing $750+ airfares from NYC. Today, Continental introduced some relatively dirt cheap fares to Lanai, Molokai and Kapalua and there’s a bunch of availability from now until spring 2012. These fares are good from Newark, Chicago and LAX and probably more – […]

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Maximizing Amex Post 7: Star Alliance Transfer Partners

May 9, 2011

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. This is another installment in my Maximizing Amex series where I examine the benefits of American Express cards and Amex’s Membership Rewards Program. The articles include; Post 1: Understanding the Card Offering. Post 2: Understanding Membership Rewards. Post 3: Understanding Transfer Bonuses. Post […]

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